Frequently Asked Questions
How do I sign up for Forces War Records?
Choose a Forces War Records plan that is best for you by clicking here.
Forgot my password?
Reset your password here.
How do I renew my membership to Forces War Records?
Renew your Forces War Records membership here.
How do I upgrade my membership to Forces War Records?
Upgrade your membership here.
How do I cancel my membership to Forces War Records?
To cancel your subscription, visit Account Details under Membership Type or contact us here at least two days before your membership renews to avoid being charged for the next billing cycle.
How do I set up auto-renew or cancel auto-renew?
Adjust settings for your auto-renew here.
How do I create a Memorial for Forces War Records?
See instructions and a video tutorial for creating a Memorial here.
I found an existing Memorial for my ancestor, but I would like to make some changes. Why can’t I edit the Memorial?
When you create a Forces War Records Memorial, you can choose whether others can contribute information or just you. If a Memorial is private, others can’t make edits. You can contact the Forces War Records member to suggest an edit or create a new Memorial incorporating your changes.
Why Can’t I Find More Records For My Soldier?
Some records are not yet available on Forces War Records, as they are still held by the archive, and for some there have been previous damage to records. Sadly about 70% of WWI records were destroyed from the 1930’s onwards by various civil service audits of the bulk of the material, however the worst damage came from a direct hit on the Arnside (London) repository in an air raid on the 2nd day of the Blitz and the damage also caused in putting the raging fires out.
A service records the military career of the individual, it is made up of various different military forms. The types of forms will differ greatly, this goes hand in hand with the fact that many records will be handwritten and have annotations from the serviceman/woman themselves or a dependents enquiry, therefore whilst very interesting per se, the general legibility of some records is poor.
Service records are sometimes the only place where family details, age, birthplace and former occupations are recorded.
Why don’t you have records from more recent conflicts?
Many records are still protected by privacy laws, and therefore are only available to the veteran or next-of-kin at this time.
Which Browsers does Forces War Records support?
How come I can’t annotate or upload any records?
Forces War Records needs to verify your email before you can upload records or add annotations. Verify your email address is correct in Account Details, then watch for a message from firstname.lastname@example.org and click on the link in the message.
Why am I encountering issues with Search?
If you see an error message that occurs repeatedly, please contact us here so we can investigate further. Please provide as many details as possible and tell us what you did when encountering the error.
How do I create a free Basic Forces War Records membership to access free collections and create Memorials? From the Forces War Records home page, select ‘Join Now’ and use your email to register for a free limited membership.
What is the difference between a free Basic Forces War Records membership and a Forces War Records Premium Paid Membership?
Some of our collections are available to search and browse for free. A free Basic membership allows you to search these collections, annotate, print, and add images to Your Gallery. You can also search and annotate Member images. Anyone with a Basic membership can also create Memorials. All other tools and collections require a Premium Paid membership.
Why does Forces War Records charge for publicly accessible records?
Some of our records are digitised through a partnership with The National Archives. This partnership allows researchers and the general public to access records from the convenience of their homes and devices rather than traveling to The National Archives research rooms, hiring private researchers, or submitting requests and accompanying fees to the Archives. In addition to records from the Archives, Forces War Records has an extensive collection of records from other sources not readily available to the public.
- Forces War Records Guide to British and Commonwealth Campaign Medals.
- Campaign medals
These are crucially important if you cannot find a service record. If any soldier was posted overseas he will have qualified for a campaign medal. Medal records do not have age, address or next of kin information, however a soldiers details were listed on a 'medal roll', usually including the regiments name (not corps however), and service number and a roll index number and rank. A soldier may have more than one medal index roll.
- Gallantry Awards
Awards are generally made for specific acts of bravery, although a few were given in new years and Kings/Queen's' birthday honours, many have a citation published which describes the act of valour they were awarded for, however this is not always the case: The Military Medal (M.M.) being a case in point. Awards and citations are generally recorded in the London 'gazette' and were then replicated a day or so later in 'the times', often citations and mentions in despatches are called 'gazetted' in actual fact.
Actions leading to an award are often referred to in a unit's war diary, or even their regimental history.
- Silver War Badge
The Silver War Badge was issued in the United Kingdom to service personnel who had been honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness during World War I. The badge, sometimes known as the Discharge Badge, Wound Badge or Services Rendered Badge, was first issued in September 1916, along with an official certificate of entitlement. It was also retrospectively issued to those who had served since 1914. The 'SWB List' when mentioned on a M.I.C. (Medal Index Card) refers to a list that is now available on Forces War Records.
Deaths, casualties, missing and wounded were usually recorded in 'The Times' and 'The Scotsman' in some cases, the times archive is available for viewing via some libraries and educational establishments.
These registers were originally published in the 1920's and we have many within our historic documents collection, they are split by cemetery/memorial and list both those who have an individual grave and those who are commemorated on an official memorial.
Some of the larger editions & books have detailed plans and photographs of the cemeteries.
Contact Forces War Records Support here.